Trollbeads Inspiration: Fun with Ombre


DSCN5301Just look at what Cristi wore into Tartooful today!  She was inspired by the idea of an “Ombre” necklace, that looked like it had been dipped in indigo blue… and in only a few minutes of play before work today she created this yummy combination.

DSCN5307It’s amazing to think that only a year ago, Cristi’s collection was neatly arranged onto specific bracelets.  Each one of her bracelets  – purple & gold, and pale blue – was perfectly composed, and had stayed pretty much the same for several years.  I had tried to tempt her to start a new bracelet design on several occasions, but she never took the bait.

DSCN5306…Then Tartooful gave Cristi and I each a Fantasy necklace with pearl last Christmas… and it was like a creative dam was broken!  All the gorgeous uniques that she previously might have just had drooled over started to creep onto her necklace.  (We began to joke that it was really more like a necktie…) Finally, the bracelets were carefully


photographed and disassembled, to join the pool of beads for new creations.  Now one never knows how Cristi’s necklace will look on a given day.  Long or short, neutral or punchy, necktie or demure pendant… they’re all such fun.

DSCN5300The key thing here really is fun.  Trollbeads are supposed to be a creative outlet, and ultimately, fun.  Cristi always encouraged others to play, but hadn’t taken the leap herself in some time.  Now that she’s freed her collection she’s found a whole new appreciation for the beauty of her own beads, and is really enjoying her Troll.

Stay tuned for how to create this gorgeous “Blue Ombre” look for yourself…




Trollbeads Inspiration: Cristi’s collection Re-Imagined

Autumn Inspiration has officially struck Tartooful, and even Cristi has succumbed.  Cristi has stoically kept the same arrangements on her bracelets for years… but the acquisition last Christmas of a Fantasy necklace was the first strike towards change, after which more than a few new beads were added to the collection, and now that the new Autumn 2012 Series has arrived, her old designs have finally been swept away by completely fresh arrangements.  So grab a coffee, pull up a chair… Are you ready?  This is going to take a little while!

Her necklace is magnificent… super long and so rich with a tapestry of colours and textures.  It displays an enviable collection of uniques, retireds, and lots of unusual expressions of old favorites.

The golden tones of her old purple and gold composition help to bring rhythm and cohesion to the new design.  In addition, the abundance of translucent bead designs give a brilliant, jewel box feel to the necklace.

Cristi’s pale blues have been reincarnated as a much more subtle and moody composition with the addition of earthy notes such as “Labradorite”, “Milan” and “Organic Bubble”.  “Midnight Flowers” and an Artisan Bead introduce deep indigo.

It’s really the “Milan” in this design that brings it all together… at first glance this bead appears to be simply black and sand in colour, but close inspection reveals grey, vanilla, rust and a remarkable, brilliant blue.  When placed in a composition near to blue, this bead shows off it’s colours in a most surprising and delightful way.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp” (retired), “Artisan Bead”, “Hydrangea”, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Neither Fish Nor Bird” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Mermaid”, “Light Blue Gold”, “Summer Jewel, Small”, “Midnight Flowers”, “Art Deco”, “Milan”, “Mocha”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “The Kiss”, “Organic Stripe”.

One of our favorite design themes is a blend of warm and cool whites, and Cristi’s collection contains some fascinating neutral toned examples that are anything but bland.

She has combined coveted retireds such as “Chai Bud”, “Grey Armadillo” and “Turquoise Dot” with current collection stars such as “Conch” and Switzerland’s World Tour entry, “Mountain Crystal”.  A very unusual, grey “Blue Desert” plays as a neutral, and a retired “King and Queen” beautifully echoes the blue dots of the “Turquoise Dot”.  The retired “Sparrow” is a sweet touch…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp” (retired), “Grey Armadillo”(retired), “Deck of Cards”, “Turquoise Dot”(retired), “Happy Fish”, “Conch”, “King and Queen”(retired), “Blue Desert”, “Sparrow”(retired), “Chai Bud” (retired), “Royal”, “Mountain Crystal” (Switzerland World Tour), “Heart”, “Beige Blue Dot”.

… What could you do with your beads if you re imagined them?


Trollbeads Inspiration: Beautiful Blue

There’s a particular shade of blue that I’ve been in love with forever… it’s not quite “Tiffany” blue, almost “Bird’s Egg” and sort of a cousin to turquoise.  It’s a difficult shade to name, but so easy to play with and wear.  I once had a bedroom with a wall painted that colour, and despite being blue it was warm, cozy and welcoming.  Perhaps that’s the magic of this shade of blue for me…  I’m really a red/pink/orange/peach/coral kind of a girl, so for me blue can be a bit chilly – but not this particular blue.  It speaks of southern climates, open summer skies and ocean water as welcoming and inviting as a bath.

Let’s just call it “Beautiful Blue”…..

Imagine my delight when the lovely NN, visiting from California walked in Tartooful’s door with an entire bracelet that was bursting with that perfectly warm, wonderful blue!

Clockwise from clasp:  Large Flower Clasp & sterling safety clasp, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Triangles, silver” (retired), “Unique”, “Beige Blue Dot”, “Eske Storm Silver Bead”, “Unique”, “Green Dot” (retired), “Waves”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Plait”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Lucky Knot”, “Unique”, “Etruscan”, “Chai Bud” (retired), “Aztec” (retired), “Silver Stopper”.

Total eye candy joy….. Thanks for bringing a little California sunshine to North Vancouver, NN!


Trollbeads Update: Road Trip!

Today I am leaving for my first, official Trollbeads Road Trip… a journey to the place where the magic happens: Copenhagen, Denmark.  I plan to take long walks through the streets, soak in the atmosphere of the town, and try to scratch the surface of this fascinating place.

Of course, no trip to Copenhagen would be complete for a dedicated Trollbeads collector without a visit to the already-fabled Trollbeads shop at Tivoli Gardens.  This pleasure garden in the heart of the city features the only shops owned by Trollbeads themselves, and are well known for offering uniques, ambers and even stones that are simply unavailable elsewhere.  I’ll be making the pilgrimage with a little list in hand of very special beads that our dearest Trollies have been wishing for.  Hopefully I’ll return with hard-to-find treasures!

However, we don’t have to go that far for inspiration:  every day I’m astonished by the beautiful compositions that our local collectors have created… and they inspire me to constantly re-design my own bracelets and necklace.  After seeing EO’s “Jade & Fresh Cream” bracelet I decided to shuffle my beads and see if I could build something similar:

This is the brilliance of Troll:  even when I’m consciously trying to create something similar to EO’s latest bracelet, I still end up giving it my own personal twist.  While my version may *feel* the same, or have the same aesthetic mood, it’s nevertheless distinctly my bracelet.  The beads that are strung on this chain each have a meaning that is personal to me… a story of who gave it to me, or when I picked it out… on which occasion, or to mark what tiny battle or celebration.  So while I enjoy the new colour combination and feel like I have a fresh piece of jewellery – I still can savour having my dear and familiar companion beads on my wrist.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Unique Green Prism”,  “Brown Dot (retired)”, “Green Jade – limited Edition Chinese Series”, “Etruscan (retired)”, “Organic Bubble”, “Unique Amber”, “Labradorite”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “White Paper Fold”, “Sparrow”, “Picasso Jasper – limited Edition Stone”, “Grey Armadillo”, “Wildcat”, “Bee on Hive (retired)”, “Blue Desert”, “Green Dot (retired)”, “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”.

Wish me good luck on my Trollhunting Road Trip – and see you soon!


Trollbeads Inspiration: A New Bracelet Every Day

Every Trollie approaches their collection a little differently, and that approach may even change over time… Some people design specific bracelets, one at a time, and leave them composed once they are perfectly to their taste.  Others compose several at a time, adding beads whenever they find something wonderful.  Others still only have one chain, but a whole bowlful of beads from which they choose designs to compose bracelets according to their taste that day, week or season.

The owner of the bracelet pictured here is the lovely young Mum who created “E’s Indigo Blues”.  We already shared with you another update to her original bracelet design… but over time her collection has grown enough that now she can create beautiful, fresh bracelet combinations on a whim – and she does!

We so enjoy seeing what she has put together each time she pops into the gallery… and this time we were quick to snap a few photos of this soft and pretty design to share with the readers of the blog.

This bracelet seemed particularly topical, based on the in-progress designs that we are seeing in the Village this Spring:  many of our ladies are mulling similar, light-as-air compositions featuring ivory and the softest of natural blues.

Key bead choices for to achieve this type of blue might include “Silver Mountain”, “Blue Desert”, “Light Blue Shadow (retired)”, and “Chalcedony (retired).  Ivory is rare in the Trollbeads collection, but new introduction, “White Paper Fold” plays nicely with “Conch” and “Fireflies”.

Many of the “Desert” series of bead designs have hidden hints of blue in their depths… this “Desert Flower” reveals it’s electric blue heart when placed near another blue bead… the clever use of these two designs helps to further emphasize the soft blue theme of this bracelet.

Some of you may recall that E has a very unusual “Trinity”, with a pearlescent, white glass.  This photo shows another side of this bead – a lovely rich blue with lots of depth and texture.  The combination of the two stones on one bead firmly sets the colour theme for this bracelet.

I admire the glowing “Chalcedony (retired)” in this photo, and it reminds me that light is huge element in this bracelet design.  Many of the beads selected are experts in transforming, reflecting and amplifying light… the result is a bracelet that plays with light in myriad ways.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Silver Fish Lock”, “White Stripe”, “Fireflies”, “Chalcedony (retired)”, “Frames”, “Grey Prism”, “Milky Quartz”, “Trinity”, “Brown Dot (retired)”, “Silver Mountain”, “The Diamond Bead, white”, “Waves”, “Blue Desert”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Desert Flower”, “Mermaid”, “Light Blue Shadow”, “Conch”, “White Bubbles”.

I find this design so inspiring… I hope you have too.  Thank you, E!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Warm Whites

Lately we’re loving the warm side of white… soft, warm vanilla shades that give us Vancouverites a shot of light in the middle of our dark winter, without feeling chilly.

Cristi has had soft ivory beads on her bracelet for a long time, and lots of us have been inspired by its lovely mix of blue, grey & warm white… in fact, variations on that colour theme are consistently among our favorite designs…

Some ivory beads are hard-to-find retireds – such as “Chai Bud”, “Blue Dot” and “Green Dot”… Many that find their way onto Tartooful’s bracelets are uniques, and others such as “Beige-blue dot” and “Alabaster Amber” have been part of the regular collection and very simple to find on display at tartooful.

In the most recent series of retirements it was announced that “Beige Bubbles” will be leaving the collection, but relatively new beads, such as “Conch”, “Urchin”, “Fireflies”, and “Organic Stripe” provide lots of inspiring fresh designs to create compositions that feature warm white.

A number of beads that are not, in fact, warm in tone at all are valuable additions to compositions featuring ivory… soft whites with a touch of cool colour offer a complementary tone… Natural stones such as “Rose Quartz, “Rosa Pearl”, and “Green Jade”… Glass such as “Grey Wolf”, “Dichroic Ice”, “White Petals” and “Silver Mountain”… and recently retired and already mourned, “Chalcedony”…

Another intriguing complementary colour for warm white is apricot… this subtle shade is very tricky to find in the Troll collection.  The best example probably is the “Pink Prism”, but some “Pink Desert” have a very warm cast to them, and some “Honey Dawn” turn out very rosy.  I particularly like the combination of warm white, gold, apricot and warm grey – such as natural faceted stone, “Labradorite”, “Grey Prism or or even some examples of “Smoky Quartz”.

Are you inspired by Ivory?


Trollbeads Inspiration: Winter White

The arrival of the new, Christmas 2011 limited edition beads meant lots of new design experiments in the red & green and blue & white palettes… but I was also inspired to create some wonderful new bracelets featuring gold… there is a beautiful blue & gold bead, a rich, ruby red & gold and of course, the ivory white and gold…



Winter whites are traditionally a little warmer than their Summer counterparts – they lean more towards ivory or cream, to be more flattering to our paler, cold weather complexions.  Winter whites feel rich and glamorous, channeling James Bond girls, Gstaad ski bunnies, 70’s disco queens and scenes from Dr Zhivago.  These are whites that beg to be paired with gold.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Pearl Lock”, “Organic Stripe”, “2+2 gold & silver”, “Unique Amber”, “Around the World gold & silver”, “Conch”, “Zanzibar”, “Golden Quartz”, “Mistletoe”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2011 – white & gold”, “Stars – gold & silver”, “Unique Amber”, “Gold spacer – retired”, “Silver Mountain”.